Free Download - Guided Meditation Script Template
Benefits of guided meditation in the classroom
Participation in a guided meditation practice has many benefits for primary school children. It can help them to listen and focus attentively, enable them to access their imaginations, transport them to other places and expose them to rich vocabulary. Guided meditation can equip children with tools to let go of inner tension by encouraging them to focus on the present moment. By engaging in these practices regularly, children can access a calmer, more relaxed state. Meditating can be a grounding activity after frenetic times, such as an energetic PE lesson or time in the yard.
What makes a good guided meditation?
Preferably, guided meditation would take place in a room where the participants are unlikely to be disturbed - no mean feat in a school setting! However, you can try your best by letting colleagues in rooms nearby know that you intend to lead a meditation and ask them to try to minimise noise. You could also hang a “do not disturb” sign on the door to minimise the risk of distractions. Dim the lights in the room and allow the children to find a comfortable position.
Tone of voice and length
Using a gentle delivery with clear diction at an unhurried pace can help children to unwind and relax. You can change the volume, pitch and tone to convey excitement or surprising twists and turns. Use pauses to allow children to fill in details and use their imaginations. Tailor the duration of the meditation to the age range and needs of the children - for younger children start off with shorter meditations as they have shorter attention spans.
Posture and position
When you think about meditation, you may picture children sitting perfectly still in the lotus position. Let go of these expectations! For younger children, or those with additional needs it is unrealistic to expect them to sit still for a sustained period of time. Some children may feel more comfortable remaining seated in their chairs, while others may like to lie down or to sit on a cushion. If a child is reluctant to participate, encourage them to give it a go but if they choose not to join in, set a ground rule that children are not allowed to disturb others.
Tip: Try playing a game or incorporate a mindful movement activity before leading a guided meditation as this will give the children a chance to disperse excess energy.
The setting and preparation
Tune into your intuition and think about the needs of the children in your class. For example, children who feel anxious or stressed may benefit from a meditation that emphasises feeling safe and protected. If you pick a setting based on a place you love that is familiar to you your enjoyment and pleasure will be infectious.
The meditation can centre around a real or imaginary place in the past, present or future. Some elements you might like to incorporate into your meditation include nature, supportive people and animals. Choose a setting the children can relate to and include evocative language with rich adjectives to help them to visualise the scene. Think about colour, sensations, weather and the season as these will all help you to conjure up a vivid picture of the setting.
If you find it difficult to generate ideas for a setting, here are some helpful prompts:
- Base the meditation on a story setting from a book the children are familiar with
- Use a piece of artwork, music or a poem as a stimulus
- Think about how you can tailor the setting to meet personal interests e.g. Outer Space, or places the children are familiar with, e.g. a school tour to a farm
- Be inspired by your favourite place - a local park, the seaside, a forest, etc.
You may like to create a word bank with your class based on your chosen setting to help you to create a picture with words. Here is a Guided Meditation Script Template with some suggested settings and associated words to spark inspiration. When children have been exposed to lots of sample guided meditations, you may like to use the template as a framework for children to create their own meditations. You could invite the children to lead the class using these personalised scripts.
You may like to start by encouraging the children to take some mindful breaths to discharge tension or heightened emotions and to help them to focus on the present moment.
Think about how you can incorporate the five senses into meditation. Sensory experiences can help to set the scene and enable the children to immerse themselves in the visualisation. You may like to add sound effects, props or visuals to sustain interest - if so, make sure that all the children can see and hear these.
After you have completed the guided meditation, talk and discussion can help the children to reflect on the impact of the exercise. This exploration can help children to make the connection between mindfulness and how our actions can improve their mental and emotional wellbeing.
- What was the experience like for you?
- What did you like about it?
- What was challenging?
Remember that for young children it can be challenging to articulate how they are feeling. You may need to model the process and it can be helpful to have a vocabulary bank on display to help them to verbalise their experiences. Some children may prefer to write or draw about the process.
We hope you found this blog post helpful and would love to hear how you got on using the Guided Meditation Script Template.
Marie O'Sullivan, Anokha Learning
Marie O’Sullivan is an experienced teacher and counsellor with an M.Sc. in Child and Adolescent Counselling. She has worked in a diverse range of school settings and roles, including a Special School and as a HSCL. Marie is a Course Author with Anokha Learning and has facilitated workshops and training for school staff and corporate and community groups.